When updating or renovating your home, you may be under the impression that making major renovations to your property will net you more money on the appraisal. This may not always be the case. In fact, some improvements may not increase your home’s value at all, leaving you with a sunk cost. In an effort to help you avoid this situation, I’d like to share with you seven home improvements that will not add to the value of your home.

  1. Extensive professional landscaping. You may not recoup the cost of that koi pond and waterfall in your backyard. Realize that major outdoor features like these are personal aesthetic choices, and that a future buyer may not share your same vision or want to pay for the maintenance of those choices.

  2. Upgraded electrical or plumbing. Odds are, your neighbors have already upgraded to copper plumbing and have probably already updated their electrical systems as well. These improvements are only considered to be ones that bring a property up to modern standards, so they’re not likely to increase the value of your home.

  3. New roof, gutters, sprinklers or HVAC. These are all major systems of a property since they can last for over 10 years. The reality is that it is unlikely that the appraiser is going to add any value to your property, since these are the kinds of systems that the buyer is going to expect are already in great working order at the time of purchase.

  4. Swimming pool. Here in Utah, swimming pools and other water features like hot tubs are not all that common, and some buyers may have a problem with that. This is called functional obsolescence—something about the property that you will not get back from a value standpoint. “Painting your home is not likely to add value in an appraisal.”
  5. Making dated improvements. Upgrading to white appliances or white ceramic countertops might seem like a great idea because they are newer to you, but these decisions may deter some potential younger buyers, since they’ll see those as “dated updates.” If you have questions on which improvements to make or not make, ask me!

  6. Painting your home. While painting your home can actually freshen up the property and strengthen its appeal, it is not likely to add value in an appraisal; it may, however, increase the probability of it selling.

  7. Solar panels. Regardless of the Kool-aid that the solar panel salespeople are selling you in regard to resale value, realize that an appraiser is not adding value for solar panels. Worse yet, if you’ve financed solar panels, you’ll probably have to pay them off at the time of sale, which is something that probably was not disclosed to you when you purchased them.

If you have any questions about what to do or what not to do in order to get your home sold for the most amount of money possible, please give me a call or shoot me an email and I’d be happy to answer.